Colorado Wrap-Up

Summit Lake from the top of Mount Evans.

A few times while I was riding above the treeline, I recalled the movie Contact. Towards the end, when Jodie Foster’s character discovers the beauty of space, she sighs and says “They should have sent a poet.” I’ve thought of this as one of the cheesiest lines in film, but it made sense to me while riding in solitude surrounded by overwhelming mountain scenery. The fact that I achieved these sights under my own power made the experience that much more special. It reinforced and reinvigorated my love for climbing.

In my week of cycling, I achieved 280 miles, 25k feet in climbing, conquered eight mountain passes, and the highest paved road in North America. It far exceeded my goals and aspirations.

That may seem like a lot, but I had plenty of other activities. I attended a Colorado Rockies game, a concert at Red Rocks, a Denver Goth club (!!), toured a number of breweries, and ate my weight at local restaurants. I spent the trip with my lovely wife and some good friends.

The website now has new content areas: There is a new Photos section for the Colorado trip, a new Colorado Climbs section, and there are a lot of new additions to the Conquered Photos section.

Here are the blog posts from the week:

Day 1: Lookout Mountain
Day 2: Mount Evans
Day 3: Hoosier Pass
Day 4: Copper Mountain, Vail Pass
Day 5: Loveland Pass
Day 6: Independence Pass
Day 7: Copper Triangle

And here are some pictures of the adventures I had off the bike.


9 responses to “Colorado Wrap-Up

  • Sandra

    Wow, you do climb, don’t you! In 2010, my husband and I took our kayaks out on our camping trip (Red Feather Lakes, RMNP, Willow Creek, then up to The Crags, then the Snowy Range in Wyoming and the Vedawoo). We marveled at the bikers heading up those mountain passes, worried about the folks that drive up and coast down on crappy old bikes, and wondered how flat landers would fair in such rides! I look forward to looking through your blog!
    By the way, we’re heading to the BWCA (boundary waters canoe area wilderness) soon, and your comment about Contact (sending a poet) reminds me of Sigurd Olson’s book The Singing Wilderness. He says, and we feel, the same. And getting there on your own calories makes it that much sweeter.

    • aaronwest

      Hi Sandra. It is a different type of riding, but I have seen a lot of flatlanders do well in the mountains. It all depends on the way they train at home. We saw a lot of people that coasted down on those rental bikes, and while I usually encourage any sort of activity on the bike, I feel that they are not getting the complete experience.

      Good luck on your BWCA trip! I’ll follow your adventures through your blog.

      • Sandra

        Maybe some day ;-)
        In the meantime, I hit my 13 mile (I’m a beginner) ride today and felt pretty good about not going under 8mph up the hills we have. I’m training for another triathlon (all women’s sprint) in just under 4 weeks. 500m swim, 10.6 mile bike, and 3 mile run. :-) I’ll be ready.
        Looking forward to going back through your blog!

  • Matt Pantsari

    Aaron- loved the entire Colorado section. I rode with a group at Tour de Lake who did the Tour de Colorado last year– they reported the climbing was not as difficult there as in the Appalachian Mtns (in terms of grade), which surprised me initially. It sounds like you faired really well, and had a great trip. Good on you!!

  • Jeff

    Aaron, Thanks for the comment on my blog. I haven’t had time to read all of your posts about your Colorado trip, but I’m glad I found your blog too! Thanks to CRMBT and some planning on my part, I’ve climbed the 17 highest passes in CO, and Mt Evans.

    • aaronwest

      Wow, now that is impressive! I managed a handful last week and Evans, all of which were terrific. Longing to go back already. How many times have you done CRMBT now?

      • Jeff

        This year was my fifth CRMBT, and I did one BTC a few years back. We also stopped and rode the Copper Triangle one year on our way tot the tour. Different years I’ve ridden before the tour to do a pass I was missing; Berthoud, Hoosier.

      • aaronwest

        Well done. Unfortunately I’m too far away to do nearly as much riding there, but I imagine there will be a few more trips. Like you, I’ll try to strategically add climbs along the way. This trip was pretty successful in that regard.

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